Behavioral and Social Learning Approaches to Personality

Topics: Behaviorism, Psychology, Behavior Pages: 3 (1007 words) Published: March 21, 2011
Behavioral and Social Learning Approaches to Personality.
Alyssa Banks
University of Phoenix Online
David Dakroub
October 01, 2010

Behavioral and Social Learning Approaches to Personality
Psychologists have created a variety of theories to help explain and understand what act and behave the way they do. Among the psychologists a few of the most famous are psychologist B.F. Skinner and psychologist Ivan Pavlov. The two of them are best known for their conditioned reflex experiment which focuses on other traits of behaviorism. The social learning theory looks at how a person acts when controlled by their environment rather than be influenced by innate forces and conditioned reflexes.

Compare and contrast the behavioral and social learning approaches to personality The thought behind the behavioral approach is that the environment we are in causes us to react differently, explaining behavior through observation. The behavioral approach is contradicted by the social approach which believes in learning through the observation of others. The observation of behavioral responses of an individual is often influenced by certain stimuli. Positive stimulus prompts the repetition of the behavior that leads to a favorable outcome. For example, a student who studies hard for a test and receives a 100% a test the first time, that student is likely to repeat the same process in preparation for the next test in hope of receiving another 100% (Friedman & Schustack,(2009). The psychologist also hypothesize in behaviorism also that we are born as “a Blank Slate”. Therefore concluding that out behavior is determined by environmental factors rather than genetic or biological predispositions. Some social learning theorists claim that the way that people think, plan, perceive and believe is an important part of learning. These social learning theorists argue that we learn through imitation, modeling, and observation of other people behavior. If we observe a...

References: Friedman, H. S. & Schustack, M. W. (2009). Personality: Classic theories and modern research
(4th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
Psychologist World. (2010). Behavioral Approach. Retrieved from
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